Monitoring, one of the Council of Europe’s assets

Ministerial Summit 17 May 2019 Helsinki, Finland

The Foreign Ministers who met at the Ministerial Summit in Helsinki, Finland, on 17 May 2019, underlined in their final declaration that: “The Organisation’s strength is the periodic and thorough assessment of all member States, in line with established legal criteria. The Committee of Ministers,...

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The President of the Congress addresses the Foreign Ministers of the Council of Europe: “We need to imagine a new ‘socio-territorial pact’ for our territories”

Ministerial Summit 17 May 2019 Helsinki, Finland

Speaking at the meeting of the Committee of Ministers in Helsinki on 17 May, Anders Knape stressed that local democracy was a central pillar of European democracy. Mentioning the current challenging situation faced by member States and European institutions, he underlined that “Mayors,...

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ALDA’s General Assembly: “Local and regional actors have a key role to play : that of reconnecting public authorities and citizens”

General Assembly of the European Association for Local Democracy 16 and 17 May 2019 Caen, France

Xavier Cadoret (France, SOC), Vice-President of the Congress, attended the meetings of the Governing Board and the General Assembly of the European Association for Local Democracy (ALDA) in Caen on 16 and 17 May 2019. "At a time when Europe is in crisis, the local and regional level of governance...

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Gunn-Marit HELGESEN attends the Council of Europe’s 70th anniversary ceremonies in Helsinki

Ministerial Summit 16 May 2019 Helsinki, Finland

On 16 May, as part of the ministerial session held in Helsinki, Gunn-Marit HELGESEN, First vice-President of the Congress and President of the Chamber of Regions, took part in a “treaty ceremony”. The aim of this event, held to mark the 70th anniversary of the Council of Europe, was to give the...

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Harald Bergmann: “By protecting the rights of LGBTI people, we can make our communities a more open, inclusive and diverse place to live for everyone”

International Day against Homophobia 17 mAY 2019 Strasbourg, france

“Human rights are for all citizens, for LGBTI people just as they are for everyone else, without distinction,” said Harald Bergmann (Netherlands, ILDG), the Congress’s thematic spokesperson on human rights, on 16 May 2019, on the eve of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and...

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The Congress at the Helsinki Ministerial Summit

Ministerial Summit 16 and 17 May 2019 Helsinki, Finland

Foreign Ministers of the 47-member states of the Council of Europe met in Helsinki, Finland, on 16 and 17 May 2019, in the context of the 70th anniversary of the creation of the Council of Europe. The Congress was represented by Anders KNAPE, President of the Congress, and Gunn-Marit HELGESEN,...

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Piero FASSINO welcomes Tunisia’s request for Partner for Local Democracy status

Cooperation activities 13 May 2019 Strasbourg, France

Piero FASSINO, Congress Spokesperson on the South Mediterranean Partnership, welcomed, on 13 May 2019, the decision of the Tunisian government and the Federation of Tunisian Cities to submit an application for the status of Partner for Local Democracy with the Congress. “This is an important...

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Congress carried out a monitoring visit to Armenia

Monitoring Committee 13 to 14 May 2019 Yerevan, Armenia

A delegation from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe carried out a monitoring visit to Armenia from 13 to 14 May 2019, to assess the implementation of the provisions of the European Charter of Local Self-Government, which the country ratified in 2002. Two...

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The World Forum for Democracy goes forward with an 8th edition – Call for initiatives

World Forum for Democracy 6 to 8 November 2019 Strasbourg, France

The eighth edition of the World Forum for Democracy, to take place in Strasbourg on 6-8 November 2019, will be dedicated to information and democracy. The 2019 Forum participants - politicians, public and private officials, international organisations, civil society, academics, etc. - will...

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Congress willing to deploy a delegation to observe the re-run elections in Istanbul on 23 June

Presidency 10 May 2019 Strasbourg, France

"Further to the decision by the Turkish Supreme Electoral Council on repeat elections in Istanbul and following the statement made by Foreign Minister Mevlüt ÇAVUŞOĞLU, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities would like to confirm its willingness to deploy a delegation to observe this...

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Piero Fassino (SOC): "An undemocratic decision in Istanbul"

Elections in Turkey 9 May 2019 Strasbourg, France

“The decision of the Turkish Supreme Electoral Council to annul the results of the Istanbul municipal elections - won by the opposition - and to impose the re-run of the election can only raise concern among all democrats. This decision, which delegitimises the popular vote, is in contradiction...

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Congress President calls on the Turkish authorities to guarantee the electoral process for the repeated elections in Istanbul

Presidency 6 May 2019 Strasbourg, France

Following the decision by the Supreme Election Council of Turkey to call for repeat elections in Istanbul on 23 June 2019, Anders Knape, the President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, has stressed the need to restore the safeguards of the electoral...

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Martin FODOR: "Cybersecurity is not an option, it is a necessity"

Governance 3 May 2019 Budapest, Hungary

In view of the growing importance of new technologies in public life, but also in the private sphere, it is essential to remain vigilant with regard to cybersecurity, while continuing to promote e-government. This is the message sent by Martin FODOR during the e|Dem and e|Gov Days of Central and...

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Congress Secretary General to the Committee of Ministers: “All levels of governance are concerned when it comes to restoring confidence in democratic institutions”

Committee of Ministers 2 May 2019 Strasbourg, France

The Secretary General of the Congress, Andreas Kiefer, presented on 2 May 2019 the contribution of the Congress to the ministerial meeting to take place in Helsinki on 16-17 May 2019 to the Ministers’ Deputies. This text adopted during the 36th Congress session contributes to the reflection...

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Anders KNAPE meets President of the Republic of Belarus, Alexander LUKASHENKO

Presidency 30 April 2019 Minsk, Belarus

Congress President Anders KNAPE met with the President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander LUKASHENKO on 29 April 2019, in Minsk. Welcoming the interest of the Belarusian authorities to improve local self-government, President KNAPE underlined the Congress readiness to support the current...

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Round table in Minsk: a new step in the cooperation between the Congress and the Belarusian authorities

Presidency 29 April 2019 Minsk, Belarus

"At the Congress, we are convinced that improving local self-government is a shared responsibility, not only between the national, regional and local levels of governance, but also between authorities and citizens," stressed Anders KNAPE, President of the Congress at the opening of the round...

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“Local democracy: building trust”: A new theme for the European Local Democracy Week

ELDW 30 April 2019 Strasbourg, France

At its meeting on 4 April 2019 in Strasbourg, the Congress Bureau approved the biennial theme of the European Local Democracy Week (ELDW) for 2019 and 2020, based on the proposals of the participants in the coordination meeting. "All over Europe, we see that citizens have less and less confidence...

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Tunisia: « The gender perspective has to be reflected in all aspects of local politics »

South-Med 26 April 2019 Tunis, Tunisia

What does it mean being a woman politician at the local level? Local elected women from Tunisia and Europe exchanged their experiences and good practices during the « Elected Women’s Cafe », which was held in Tunis on 24 April 2019 during the Forum on Gender Equality. The participants insisted on...

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Belarus: high level meetings and round table discussions

24 April 2019 Minsk, Belarus

The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe will participate in round table discussions and hold several high-level meetings with the Belarusian authorities in Minsk on 29-30 April 2019. The President of the Congress, Anders KNAPE, will meet the President of the...

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European Qualifications Passport for Refugees

Current Affairs Committee 24 April 2019 Strasbourg, France

The European Refugee Qualifications Passport (EQPR) is a genuine tool for the integration of refugees into their host society and facilitates the recognition of their qualifications even if they cannot be duly justified by full documentation. This bet has been successful, as European universities...

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Congress training in Ukraine: Respect for human rights begins in local communities

Co-operation 15-18 April 2019 Kharkiv, Ukraine

The Congress organised a training of trainers on local democracy and human rights, from 15 to 18 April 2019, in Kharkiv, Ukraine. The aim was to promote the active participation of young people in civic life as a means of ensuring social cohesion and anchoring democratic principles based on...

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Tunisia: Congress promotes exchanges between Tunisian and European elected women

Co-operation activities 24 April 2019 Tunis, Tunisia

The Congress will organise, in Tunis on 24 April 2019, an encounter "the Café des élues - Being a female politician: issues and perspectives" – an event aimed at promoting the exchange of experience and good practices between women local elected representatives from both shores of the...

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Congress calls on Turkey to respect the voter’s decision in the 31 March local elections

Presidency 12 April 2019 Strasbourg, France

Reacting to reports from Turkey about elected representatives in the south-east of the country not having been appointed mayors despite their victory in the 31 March local elections, Anders Knape, President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, stressed the...

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Johan VAN DEN HOUT: "Strengthening local self-government to stimulate economic development"

Co-operation activities 11 and 12 April 2019 Skopje, North Macedonia

"NALAS and the Congress share a common objective: strengthen local self-government and representating and defending the interests of local and regional authorities," stressed Congress Vice-President, Johan van den Hout, at the General Assembly of the Network of Associations of Local Authorities...

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“The Congress is fully involved in the effort to engage municipalities in “smart” modernisation,” says Xavier CADORET

Governance Committee 9 and 10 April 2019 Geneva, SWITZERLAND

“If cities are the first to feel the effects of the transformations associated with the rapid pace of urbanisation, then they are also the drivers of innovation and development,” stated Xavier CADORET, President of the Chamber of Local Authorities of the Congress, during the 68th Session of the...

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"Local action for Roma safety": an initiative presented to the Ukrainian Parliament

Roma 9 April 2019 Ukrainian Parlement

The initiative "Local Action for Roma Safety" was presented to the Ukrainian Parliament on 9 April 2019 by Iryna SUSLOVA, MP and Chair of the Sub-Committee on Gender Equality and Non-Discrimination - Committee on Human Rights, National Minorities and Inter-ethnic Relations. This event was...

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Securing Roma rights is part of the responsibilities of public authorities

Roma International Day 8 April 2019 Strasbourg, France

"Roma are fully-fledged members of society and securing their rights is part of the responsibilities of public authorities," said Congress spokeswoman on Roma issues, Miranda RIRA (Albania, SOC), on the occasion of the Roma International Day, on 8 April 2019. "Even though they are the largest...

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Decentralised co-operation between the Northern and Southern Mediterranean

36th Session 2 April 2019 Strasbourg, France

The “Partner for local democracy” status granted to Morocco on 2 April 2019 is the successful upshot of the co-operation with this country that was launched in 2007 and will help to strengthen political dialogue and decentralised co-operation between the two shores of the Mediterranean. The two...

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Assembly President calls on for increased cooperation with the Congress

36TH Session 4 April 2019 Strasbourg, France

"Each institution has its own role and its own prerogatives but we are each and every one of us working towards the same objective: to continue the construction of a common area for the protection of democracy, the rule of law and human rights", said the President of the Parliamentary Assembly,...

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Thorbjørn JAGLAND: Co-operation as a means of strengthening the role of the Council of Europe

36th Session 4 April 2019 Strasbourg, France

“Local and regional democracy is a strong part of Europe today,” said Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, speaking at the 36th session of the Congress on 4 April 2019. In the political and budgetary crisis facing the organisation, Mr Jagland reasserted the importance of...

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Growing pressure on mayors

36th Session 3 April 2019 Strasbourg, France

Threats and attacks against local government representatives are becoming an ever more frequent occurrence. The mayor of Gdansk and the mayors of Altena and Haarlem made this clear when recounting their own experiences in a debate on "mayors under pressure" held by the Congress’s Chamber of Local...

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Congress urges Turkey to ensure that the recounting judges work freely and without interference

Elections observations 4 April 2019 Strasbourg, France

The Bureau of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, meeting at the 36th Congress Plenary Session in Strasbourg (France), today issued a statement on the post-election situation in Turkey and in particular on the appeals and recount of votes currently being...

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Debate on "open government" at regional level

36th Session 3 April 2019 Strasbourg, France

Heavily involved in "open government", particularly in terms of procedural transparency and citizen participation, Europe’s regions are pursuing numerous initiatives in these areas, but can and must do even more. That was the conclusion of a debate held on 3 April 2019 during the Congress’s...

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Moldova: Congress identifies negative trend towards re-centralisation

36th Session 4 April 2019 Strasbourg, France

The Council of Europe´s Congress of Local and Regional Authorities today expressed concern about the trend to re-centralisation and the unsatisfactory level of local democracy in the Republic of Moldova. In a Recommendation adopted during its 36th plenary session, the Congress points out a number...

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The Congress calls for proper compensation for local and regional elected representatives

36th Session 3 April 2019 Strasbourg, France

The right and ability of all citizens to stand for elected office is a fundamental principle of local democracy, established in Article 7 of the European Charter of Local Self-Government. In other words, material concerns should not prevent any citizen from standing for office. That was the point...

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The social rights of young people, a competence of local and regional authorities

36th Session 3 April 2019 Strasbourg, France

The fundamental social rights of the citizens of the member states of the Council of Europe are guaranteed by the European Social Charter and its collective complaints mechanism. As a legal instrument, the Charter refers to young people as having certain rights, notably in terms of education,...

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Poland: Congress local elections observations

36th Session 2 April 2019 Strasbourg, France

Meeting during their 36th Session in Strasbourg, Congress members examined, on 2 April 2019, an information report on the assessment of local government elections held in Poland on 21 October 2018. The report, presented by Jos WIENEN (Netherlands, EPP/CCE), states that considering the complexity...

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Finnish Presidency of the Committee of Ministers: “The stabilising role of democratic local governance”

36th Session 3 April 2019 Strasbourg, France

“In Finland, for decades, democratic local governance has had a stabilising role in our society ,” said Jari PARTANEN, State Secretary of Transport and Communications of Finland, speaking on behalf of the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, at the 36th Session of the Congress, on 3 April...

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Protecting whistleblowers to safeguard local and regional democracy

36th Session 3 April 2019 Strasbourg, France

“Whistleblowers often have access to information that cannot be detected by other mechanisms. They bring unique added value to democracy and good local and regional governance,” noted the Congress rapporteur Josan MEIJERS (Netherlands, SOC) in a debate held on 3 April 2019 on the challenges of...

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Bosnia and Herzegovina: elections of a local nature should be grouped together

36th Session 3 April 2019 Strasbourg, France

A report on the observation of the Cantonal Elections in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina held on 7 October 2018 was adopted today at the 36th Session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe. The report was presented by Rapporteur Stewart DICKSON (United...

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Local elections in Slovenia positively evaluated by the Congress

36th Session 3 April 2019 Strasbourg, France

The delegation of the Council of Europe’s Congress of Regional and Local Authorities that conducted an ad-hoc assessment of the local elections of 18 November 2018 in Slovenia gave an overall positive evaluation to the vote, but noted that there is room for improvement in such areas as sealing of...

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Mayors safeguarding the quality of democracy

36th Session 2 April 2019 Strasbourg, France

National governments should make use of mayors to restore dialogue with the population, as is the case in France, where “cahiers de doléance” (lists of grievances) have been introduced and local debates initiated in response to the “yellow vest” crisis. The French experience shows the importance...

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Urban/rural divide: developing interactions between territories

36th Session 3 April 2019 Strasbourg, France

Closer interaction between urban and rural areas is essential for local authorities in Europe. This is the observation made during a debate organised by the Chamber of Local Authorities of the Congress on 3 April 2019. "The urban-rural divide is a societal and political challenge facing local...

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Poland: relatively alarming developments for local and regional democracy

36th Session 2 April 2019 Strasbourg, France

The situation of local and regional democracy in Poland has changed significantly over the past years: formerly one of the “top ten” countries in the EU, in terms of the level of local autonomy, Poland now shows “relatively alarming trends”. These are among the key findings of the report and...

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Future of the Council of Europe – restoring confidence in democratic institutions from the local level up

36th Session 2 April 2019 Strasbourg, France

In our response to the current democratic crisis, local institutions have a strategic role in restoring the links between citizens and the institutions which represent them. This is the Congress members’ message to the foreign ministers of the 47 member states of the Council of Europe, who are to...

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Anders KNAPE: "Local and regional democracy is the second dimension of democracy in a system of shared governance"

36th Session 2 April 2019 Strasbourg, France

In his communication at the opening of the 36th Session on 2 April, Congress President Anders KNAPE highlighted the crucial role that the local and regional levels play in supporting the European model of democracy and society. “National Governments must better recognise local democracy as an...

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Youth delegates participate in the 36th Congress Session

36th Session 2 to 4 April 2019 Strasbourg, France

Youth delegates from 42 member states of the Council of Europe took part in the debates at the 36th Session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities. This participation was part of the Congress’s “Rejuvenating politics” initiative, which, since 2014, has sought to promote youth...

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Fighting nepotism through clear and transparent recruitment procedures

36th Session 2 April 2019 Strasbourg, France

Against a background of diminished public trust in public authorities, fighting nepotism and ensuring impartial recruitment procedures are fundamental requirements. The report adopted on this subject by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe on 2 April 2019 is...

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Morocco – first “Partner for local democracy”

36th Session 2 April 2019 Strasbourg, France

In a resolution adopted today by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, the Kingdom of Morocco was granted the status of “Partner for local democracy” with this assembly of local and regional elected representatives from the Organisation’s 47 member states. This...

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Sufficient resources to ensure the Congress’s contribution to the Council of Europe’s priorities

36th Session 2 April 2019 Strasbourg, France

After the ratification of the European Charter of Local Self-Government in 2014 by all 47 member states, the monitoring activities, which the Congress carries out every five years in each member state, increased considerably. “The Congress spent almost all the financial resources allocated to it...

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